March 17th, 2014

Another possible scenario for Flight 370: remember the Uyghurs?

Seems to me that this previous incident is not getting as much press as it should.

It was an organized and quite recent (June 2012) attempt by Uyghurs—the Muslim separatist group in western China—to hijack a Chinese plane. And it was a very serious attempt (and note the crutch, the m.o. for carrying a weapon in the film “The Day of the Jackal”):

A Tianjin Airlines Embraer ERJ-190 jet was leaving on its daily route from Hotan Airport to Ürümqi Diwopu International Airport at 12:25 pm (0425 Greenwich Mean Time) with 92 passengers and nine crew. The suspected hijackers, six Uyghur men aged 20–36 from the city of Kashgar, boarded the aircraft without notice. Surveillance video showed the suspects feigning disability to bypass airport security; one suspect hid his aluminum pipe weapon inside his crutch. The hijackers donned staff uniforms and split into two parties of three in the front and back of the plane. One of the suspects said they aimed to fly the aircraft out of the country to wage holy war; China has previously raised concerns that Uyghur militants are linking up to their Islamist counterparts in Pakistan.

…The three hijackers in front were attempting to break down the door to the cockpit, according to the China Daily, injuring a flight attendant who resisted them. Witnesses note that the attackers were armed with the sharp ends of a disassembled aluminum crutch. Simultaneously, the three men in the back brandished metal bars and explosives, beating seated passengers while announcing “whoever stands up will die”.

Upon hearing this declaration of intent, Fu Huacheng, a passenger and the minister of education for Lop County, recalled running out of his seat and shouting in Uyghur to his fellow passengers: “Come on! Let’s stand up and fight them.” Up to six mostly Uyghur plainclothes police responded to Fu’s call; microbloggers confirmed witnessing plainclothes policemen removing homemade explosives from the suspects. A group of passengers, led by a local doctor, escorted the elderly and children away from the violence. Some passengers successfully activated the mid-air anti-hijacking contingency plan, which involves pushing a trolley in front of the cockpit door. A passenger interviewed by the Associated Press confirmed that passengers used their belts to restrain the attackers; witnesses to the hijacking posted bloody pictures of the arrests on Sina Weibo.

Bloody indeed: “Two hijackers died from injuries from the fight on board.”

It strikes me that terrorists often learn from their previous errors, and tweak their approach until it works (for example, the second attack on the WTC compared to the first). I realize that authorities are convinced that one of the regular pilots was involved in flying Flight 370 to whatever fate awaited it. But is not also possible that the pilot[s] might have been under the control of armed men who told him that, if he cooperated and did what they wanted, he’d be able to land the plane safely in an old-fashioned hijacking situation?

11 Responses to “Another possible scenario for Flight 370: remember the Uyghurs?”

  1. JR Says:

    It strikes me that terrorists often learn from their previous errors,
    of course just like the lairs, thieves and all those doggy guys>

    But what me so angry and disgusting of the behaviours of Captain Zaharie , who is real special and dangerous terrorist and I have no sympathy if those stories talking about using the airliner for torturing 239 passengers on claim his very personal grieves with his government.

    I have no sympathy whatsoever for him and his family which is vanished the day before he took off of the airliner.

    I hope Zaharie and his family caught and tortured as a result of his madness and terrorist act to stop those who thinks they can live their life after doing very nasty terrorist acts.

    These should been taken off the fee and responsible society as these are sick and criminals should be chopped off.

  2. blert Says:

    As I’ve posted before, the Chinese authorities put it about after the rail way station attack that those offenders were blocked from getting down to Kuala Lumpur by Chinese internal security measures.

    They’d been in (Internet?) contact with jihadis in Malaysia who they were trying to hook up with.

    This assertion was only written up in one British newspaper (web) account — and very far down at the bottom of the article — as an afterthought.

    By its wording and placement, it was plain that the writer/ editor did not put much credence into the notion/ claim.


    Pakistan, Afghanistan, Thailand, Burma and China ALL have Islamic violence on the boil. It must be patent that the Thai crisis is being financed and instigated by Muslims from down south — not necessarily stopping at the border.


    Kuala Lumpur has ALWAYS been at ground zero for airliner terrorism schemes. Why would AQ arrange a confab there — unless they had ‘technical justifications’?

    It may well be that Captain Zaharie may well have been a ‘sub rosa’ player all this time.

    Exhibit A was his ability to cross train un-vetted Muslims — fanatics — in the ways of the sky — without ANY police agency being the slightest bit aware that new cadres were being trained.

    He certainly didn’t need his elaborate set-up for himself. As I understand it, he was an official tester at Malaysian Airlines — working with and on their simulator.

    With his expertise, it’s a pretty good bet that the fanatics did not want him given any exposure.

    John le Carré’s Hans-Dieter Mundt (Peter van Eyck) “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold” was such a valuable asset that extreme convolutions were endured to keep him ‘in business.’

    Captain Zaharie would’ve merited no less protection.

    It’s now pretty obvious that the co-pilot may very well have been drugged. His fiancé was reason enough to hang around. In contrast, Zaharie’s family life was a total mess. I rather suspect that it blew up when he became a true Muslim.

    (The typical Indonesian or Malaysian Muslim is in a totally different universe of belief compared to Wahhabism.)

    His famous last words: ‘all right, good night’ would make perfect sense if he was dropping off to sleep. A drowsy co-pilot would not even notice as the Captain turned off the transponder.

    Shortly after he went under, the 777 is all over the place.

    If the pilot had assistants, then the rest of the flight history makes sense.

    BTW, it may well be that the ultimate destination would’ve been Iran. If so, then the silence makes perfect sense. China is Iran’s biggest customer.

    The opportunity to have one of the world’s longest range airliners to deliver Q-weapons under a false flag — just too juicy to pass up.

    When lightly loaded, the 777 can just about travel half-way around the world.

    Thanks due to Barry and Valerie, Tehran can now purchase Boeing repair parts — direct if need be.

    And, of course, Malaysian Airlines travels to virtually every significant nation on this Earth. Like the Irish or the Swiss carriers, it is almost universally popular.

  3. Cornhead Says:

    I keep saying the Religion of Peace is behind this.

    And I like Creighton to make it to the Final Four too!

  4. Lee Says:

    I heard an interesting theory: a hijacking that was started, possibly by the pilot, but some fought with hijacker and the result was a plunge into the ocean.think Flight 93 over vast expanse of Indian Ocean, with no cell towers to pick up passenger calls.

  5. blert Says:

    This ^^^ is the best theory to date.

    Ledgerwood makes a plausible case that the Captain of MH370 did what he did, when he did it, because he was setting himself up to fade into the radar returns from SIA68 — itself northbound up the Bay of Bengal.

    Consequently he was able to fly economically and routinely right in the radar shadow of Singapore Airlines.

    Read his working theory. It holds up.

    His theory also explains the otherwise weird flight antics of MH370. The Captain had to delay his move north until SIA68 showed up. It’s another, identical, 777-ER, with a flight plan that would take it right on through India and Pakistan!

  6. blert Says:

    The word is out on the Net that the captain was a devotee of Anwar Ibrahim — who is alleged to be a front man for the Muslim Brotherhood.

    An MB connection would certainly be consistent with the rest of Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah’s political profile.

    It’d go a long way towards explaining his marital ‘difficulties’ — in as much as the MB was founded on misogyny!


    I would not put it past Red China for the authorities there to be in contact with the plane — whose occupants are now being held as hostages.


    By this time, even the kookiest ideas gain adherents.

  7. Richard Aubrey Says:

    I am not a pilot. However, flying a heavy jet in tight formation with another is going to be tiring, I would imagine, and thus not going to be perfect. Did the pilot decide to take his chances? Figure that by the time he got sloppy there’d be no radar to worry about?
    Do airliners have air-to-air radars sufficient to pick up other aircraft in the sky? We’re not talking about fighters here. If there’s an anti-collision system, it would not necessarily pick up another aircraft in time or at an angle for the pilot to plot what would be called, in the military, a pursuit curve or approach such that the target aircraft would not see them.
    An anti-collision system would have to be emitting some kind of energy, and, due to inverse-square, that could be picked up at far greater distances than it would be useful for its intended purposes.
    He’d have to be awfully confident that the lights in the night sky were from the aircraft he wanted, and not some other.

  8. Don Carlos Says:

    The plane was hijacked; the flight evidence is now clear. What remains to be discovered is 1) where it landed: which -stan, and 2) to what future use it will be put.

    It is key that the range of a fully-fueled, lightly cargo-loaded 777 is some 9000 or more miles.

    We disrespect the malevolent ingenuity of jihadists at our extreme peril. Having a Hussein in the WH is no help. Perhaps Vlad will rise to the occasion, a la Chechnya.

  9. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Don Carlos,
    Various commentators on various television shows who seem to have some national security cred one way or another have said that landing the thing someplace where it could again take off limits the options. One presumes those options–long runways and a hangar– are known and can be watched, one way or another.
    Unfortunately, since the thing landed, if hijacked so as to be reused, less than ten hours after it took off, and if getting it to a hangar took less than ten minutes, looking at those options from overhead won’t be doing much good. If everybody shuts up about it, communicating in written notes, there’ll be no signint. And humint in various out-of-the-way places is likely pretty scant. Who would think to promote a source at Xstan’s only long runway just in case something other than commercial or obvious military traffic about which we know from less difficult sources might land there?
    So, in this scenario, it’s in a hangar someplace being readied for the next operation. No telling about the passengers, although the USS Vincennes tragedy might be thought to be a way to bluff the air defenses of civilized nations long enough….
    Or…something else.

  10. Don Carlos Says:

    If one looks at a map showing the airports with a mile-long runway in the plane’s flight range from KL, the number is remarkably high, even in marginal places like Bangladesh and Sarawak. To refuel, all that is needed is a tanker truck or two, and if I were doing it, the truck(s) would already be full and waiting.

    One presumes at one’s peril. It was widely presumed that no one could sneak off with a 650,000lb 777 until that presumption was laid to rest, if rest there be and if the Chicomms are keeping it quiet for their own reasons…

  11. Beverly Says:

    My brother flew to Cleveland on Sept. 13, 2001, from Atlanta.

    There were only a few passengers on the plane. He says that when they were all aboard, they were talking about the jihad attacks two days ago, and “We passengers all agreed that if the m-fers started anything, we’d jump them and kill them with our bare hands, if necessary.”

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